TOLEDO OH (11-2-08)- Dig into any successful race team and you'll likely find a passionate leader at the helm. That's certainly that case with the No. 2 Red Bull Toyota Team, who led the ARCA RE/MAX Series in several categories in 2008 under the direction and leadership of crew chief Patrick Donahue, recipient of the 2008 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Award.
Donahue will formally accept 2008 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year award at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on December 6th.
Cometic Crew Chief of the Year standings are calculated based on a combination of qualifying points and race points, with the crew chief of the top qualifier after each event earning 200 points and points descending in increments of five. In addition, the race winning crew chief earns 200 points at the conclusion of each event, with points descending in increments of five. Points earned are contingent upon running a Cometic decal on the team's racecar. Donahue officially clinched the 2008 Cometic Crew Chief Award following event No. 20 of the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule-the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 3rd.
Jeff Campey, crew chief of the No. 99 Aflac Ford driven by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., finished second in the 2008 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year standings, followed by Bill Kimmel (No. 44 Kimmel Racing Ford Fusion driven by Frank Kimmel), Travis Carter (No. 46 Stine Seed-Hantz Group Ford Fusion driven by Matt Carter) and Mark Gibson (No. 4 Dodge Driver Development Dodge driven by Tayler Malsam).
Donahue and the Eddie Sharp Racing Team were able to make up valuable time both on the racetrack and on pit road during the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season as they navigated driver Scott Speed through his first full season of stock car competition. The No. 2 Red Bull Toyota was running at the conclusion of all but three races and led laps in 14 of 21 events. Season highlights included recovering from a green flag pit stop at Kansas Speedway after incurring a penalty for the window net coming down under green to win the Kansas Lottery $150 Grand on April 26th and rebuilding racecars on pit road at Rockingham, Salem and Talladega after on-track incidents so that Speed could finish races. Speed worked his way from five laps down to finish on the lead lap in eighth place at Cayuga on June 29th.
The team posted an average starting position of 5.6 and an average finish position of 9.8 over the course of the 21-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule, including four race wins, ten top-5 finishes, 17 top-10 finishes, three SIM Factory Pole Awards and a Series' high 407 laps led in 14 races.
Although 2008 marks the first year in which Donahue has earned the season-end Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Award, the 34-year-old has a long and impressive history in motor sports, both in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and in NASCAR's top-three touring divisions.
Donahue led Joey Miller to a career first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory in the driver's career first series start in a Matt Hagans-owned Dodge in 2004. He worked hands-on with driver Michael McDowell in 2007, leading the Eddie Sharp Racing driver to a second place point finish and Rookie of the Year honors on the strength of four wins, 11 top-5 finishes, 15 top-10 finishes, nine SIM Factory Pole Awards and 822 laps led in 15 races before working with Speed in 2008. Donahue's professional career began just two days after his high school graduation when he earned a job with Hendrick Motorsports as a mechanic and tire specialist for the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As a crew chief, he has worked with drivers Gordon, Ricky Hendrick, Casey Atwood, Brian Vickers, Chad Blount, Casey Mears, David Stremme, Erin Crocker, Boston Reid and Robby Gordon for organizations such as Gillet-Evernham Motorsports, Braun Racing and Robby Gordon Motorsports.
2008 marks the first year since 1999 that a crew chief other than Bill Kimmel, the all-time crew chief award winner with eight consecutive titles from 2000-2007, has earned the Cometic Crew Chief of the Year award. Other former ARCA Crew Chiefs of the Year include Keith Strunk (1999), Jeff Lemons (1998), Chad Cummings (1997), Tom Sokoloski (1996), Bob Dotter (1995), Gary Bowsher (1994), Ron Crooks (1993), Ron Keselowski (1992 and 1987), Gary Bowsher (1991), Joe Slonkosky (1990 and 1989), Charlie Newby (1988), Jerry Gara (1986 and 1979), Clifford Allison (1985), Pat Broyles (1984), Bill Hahnlein (1980), Doc Kinsey (1978), Larry Harpe (1977), Charlie Paxton (1976), Dave Dayton (1974), Iggy Katona (1970) and Ralph Young (1968).
Cometic Gasket, Inc. is a leading worldwide supplier of custom and short-run gaskets for the motor sports industry, producing and shipping more than 5,000 types of gaskets to customers throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In addition to sponsoring the Crew Chief of the Year Award, Cometic is positioned as the Official Gasket of the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Donahue will formally accept the 2008 Cometic Crew Chief of the Year Award at the ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Awards Banquet at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky on Saturday evening, December 6th. The banquet is open to the public and tickets are available by calling Shalene Williams at the ARCA Office (734) 847-6726.
For more information on the ARCA RE/MAX Series, visit www.arcaracing.com.
ARCA PR/Media, office (734) 847-6726
Don Radebaugh, cell (419) 450-0611
Jackie L. Franzil, cell (419) 574-2685